"(morpho)" species?

Peter Rauch anamaria at GRINNELL.BERKELEY.EDU
Wed Jan 6 22:08:57 CST 1999

On Wed, 6 Jan 1999, Doug Yanega wrote:
> ... from an
> entomologist's perspective, 99.99% of the time we don't *know* which
> entities are genuinely species, so we define them based on morphology.
> I put "morpho" in parentheses to avoid getting into "species definition"
> arguments, ...
> Is that what you had in mind? ...

Yup. Your explanation clarifies it for me.

I suppose the one point further to make is that the dilemma of not being
able to identify those "real" species (as you say, whatever definition
that entails), when doing the biodiversity assessments, and having to
"settle for" morphospecies, leads to weaknesses in the diversity
assessments (but, are those weaknesses of the same consequence as the
one you raised for diversity studies which use higher level
categories...?  I'd suspect not, but as long as we're critiquing
diversity studies...). I also suppose that a good diversity study will
be careful and wise to define the study goal and "diversity" in such a
way as to make the study "right", no matter what are being used as the
objects of interest; is that heresy, or what!  :>)


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